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The Sutta Pitaka


...... ... .


Khuddaka Nikaya
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Itivuttaka

This Was Said by the Buddha

Translated from the Pali 

by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Read an alternate translation by John D. Ireland (excerpts only).

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Itivuttaka 80-99

The Group Of Threes

§ 81.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "I have seen beings conquered by receiving offerings -- their minds overwhelmed -- at the break-up of the body, after death, reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. I have seen beings conquered by not receiving offerings -- their minds overwhelmed -- at the break-up of the body, after death, reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. I have seen beings conquered both by receiving offerings & by not receiving offerings -- their minds overwhelmed -- at the break-up of the body, after death, reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell.

"It's not through having heard it from other priests or contemplatives that I say, 'I have seen beings conquered by receiving offerings -- their minds overwhelmed -- at the break-up of the body, after death, reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. I have seen beings conquered by not receiving offerings -- their minds overwhelmed -- at the break-up of the body, after death, reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. I have seen beings conquered both by receiving offerings & by not receiving offerings -- their minds overwhelmed -- at the break-up of the body, after death, reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell.'

"Instead, it's from having known it myself, seen it myself, observed it myself that I say, 'I have seen beings conquered by receiving offerings -- their minds overwhelmed -- at the break-up of the body, after death, reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. I have seen beings conquered by not receiving offerings -- their minds overwhelmed -- at the break-up of the body, after death, reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. I have seen beings conquered both by receiving offerings & by not receiving offerings -- their minds overwhelmed -- at the break-up of the body, after death, reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell.'"

Both when receiving offerings
    & not:
his concentration
    won't waver,
he remains
heedful:
he -- continually absorbed in jhana,
subtle in view & clear-seeing,
enjoying the ending of clinging --
    is called a man
    of integrity.

§ 82.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "These three divine sounds sound forth among the devas on appropriate occasions. Which three? When a disciple of the noble ones, shaving off his hair & beard, clothing himself in the ochre robe, makes up his mind to go forth from the home life into homelessness, on that occasion the divine sound sounds forth among the devas: 'This disciple of the noble ones has made up his mind to do battle with Mara.' This is the first divine sound that sounds forth among the devas on appropriate occasions.

"When a disciple of the noble ones lives devoted to developing the seven [sets of] qualities that are wings to Awakening,* on that occasion the divine sound sounds forth among the devas: 'This disciple of the noble ones is doing battle with Mara.' This is the second divine sound that sounds forth among the devas on appropriate occasions.

"When a disciple of the noble ones, through the ending of fermentations dwells in the release of awareness & release of discernment that are free from fermentation, having known & made them manifest for himself right in the present life, on that occasion the divine sound sounds forth among the devas: 'This disciple of the noble ones has won the battle. Having been in the front lines of the battle, he now dwells victorious.' This is the third divine sound that sounds forth among the devas on appropriate occasions.

"These are the three divine sounds that sound forth among the devas on appropriate occasions."

Seeing he's won the battle
    -- the disciple of the Rightly
    Self-awakened One --
even the devas pay homage
to this great one, thoroughly mature.
"Homage to you, O thoroughbred man --
you who have won the hard victory,
defeating the army of Death,
unhindered in
            emancipation."
Thus they pay homage, the devas,
to one who has reached the heart's goal,
for they see in him no means
that would bring him under Death's sway.

Note:

*The wings to Awakening are the four frames of reference, the four right exertions, the four bases for power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors for Awakening, and the noble eightfold path.

§ 83.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard:

"When a deva is about to pass away from the company of devas, five omens appear: his garlands wither, his clothes get soiled, sweat comes out of his armpits, a dullness descends on his body, he no longer delights in his own deva-seat. The devas, knowing from this that 'This deva-son is about to pass away,' encourage him with three sayings: 'Go from here, honorable sir, to a good destination. Having gone to a good destination, gain the gain that is good to gain. Having gained the gain that is good to gain, become well-established.'"

When this was said, a certain monk said to the Blessed One, "What, lord, is the devas' reckoning of going to a good destination? What is their reckoning of the gain that is good to gain? What is their reckoning of becoming well-established?"

"The human state, monks, is the devas' reckoning of going to a good destination. Having become a human being, acquiring conviction in the Dhamma-&-Vinaya taught by the Tathagata: this is the devas' reckoning of the gain that is good to gain. When that conviction is settled within one -- rooted, established, & strong, not to be destroyed by any priest or contemplative; deva, Mara, or Brahma; or anyone else in the world: this is the devas' reckoning of becoming well-established."

When a deva passes away
from the company of devas
through his life-span's ending,
three sounds sound forth
    -- the devas' encouragement.

    'Go from here,
    honorable sir,
to a good destination,
to companionship
with human beings.
On becoming a human being,
acquire a conviction
unsurpassed
    in True Dhamma.
That conviction of yours
in True Dhamma, well-taught,
should be    settled,
        rooted,
        established,
-- undestroyed
as long as you live.
Having abandoned
    bodily misconduct,
    verbal misconduct,
    mental misconduct,
and whatever else is flawed;
having done with the body what's skillful,
and much that is skillful with speech,
having done what's skillful
with a heart without limit,
    with no acquisitions,
then -- having made much
of that basis of merit
through generosity --
establish other mortals
in    True Dhamma &
    the holy life.'

With this sympathy, the devas --
when they know a deva is passing away --
encourage him:
        'Come back, deva,
        again & again.'

§ 84.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "These three persons, appearing in the world, appear for the benefit of many, the happiness of many, in sympathy for the world -- for the welfare, the benefit, the happiness of beings human & divine. Which three?

"There is the case where a Tathagata appears in the world, worthy & rightly self-awakened, consummate in clear knowing & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the cosmos, unsurpassed trainer of tamable people, teacher of beings human & divine, awakened, blessed. He teaches the Dhamma admirable in its beginning, admirable in its middle, admirable in its end. He proclaims the holy life both in its particulars & in its essence, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. This is the first person who, appearing in the world, appears for the benefit of many, the happiness of many, in sympathy for the world -- for the welfare, the benefit, the happiness of beings human & divine.

"Furthermore, there is the disciple of that Teacher who is a worthy one, his mental fermentations ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who is released through right gnosis. He teaches the Dhamma admirable in its beginning, admirable in its middle, admirable in its end. He proclaims the holy life both in its particulars & in its essence, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. This is the second person who, appearing in the world, appears for the benefit of many, the happiness of many, in sympathy for the world -- for the welfare, the benefit, the happiness of beings human & divine.

"Furthermore, there is the disciple of that Teacher who is a learner, following the way, erudite, endowed with [good] practices & principles. He, too, teaches the Dhamma admirable in its beginning, admirable in its middle, admirable in its end. He proclaims the holy life both in its particulars & in its essence, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. This is the third person who, appearing in the world, appears for the benefit of many, the happiness of many, in sympathy for the world -- for the welfare, the benefit, the happiness of beings human & divine.

"These are the three persons who, appearing in the world, appear for the benefit of many, the happiness of many, in sympathy for the world -- for the welfare, the benefit, the happiness of beings human & divine."

    The Teacher,
    Great Seer,
is first in the world;
following him, the disciple
    composed;
and then the learner,
erudite, following the way,
endowed with good    virtue,
            practices.

These three, chief
among beings divine & human,
giving light, proclaiming the Dhamma,
    throw open the door to the Deathless,
    release many from bondage.
Those who follow the path,
well-taught by the Caravan Leader
    unsurpassed,
will put an end to stress
    right here --
those heeding the message
of the One Well-gone.

§ 85.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Remain focused, monks, on the foulness of the body. Have mindfulness of in-&-out breathing well established to the fore within you. Remain focused on the inconstancy of all fabrications. For one who remains focused on the foulness of the body, the latent tendency to passion for the property of beauty is abandoned. For one who has mindfulness of in-&-out breathing well established to the fore within oneself, annoying external thoughts & inclinations don't exist. For one who remains focused on the inconstancy of all fabrications, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises."

Focusing on foulness
    in the body,
mindful
    of in & out breathing,
seeing
    the stilling of all fabrications
        -- ardent
            always:
    he is a monk
who's seen rightly.

From that he is there set free.
    A master of direct knowing,
    at peace,
        he is a sage
        gone beyond bonds.

§ 86.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "With reference to a monk who practices the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, it is this way of according with the Dhamma that he should be described as practicing the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma. When speaking, he speaks Dhamma and not non-Dhamma. When thinking, he thinks about Dhamma and not about non-Dhamma. Avoiding both these things, he stays equanimous, mindful, alert."

Dhamma his dwelling,
Dhamma his delight,
a monk pondering Dhamma,
    calling Dhamma to mind,
doesn't fall away
from true Dhamma.

Whether    walking,
        standing,
        sitting, or
        lying down
-- his mind inwardly restrained --
    he arrives
    right at peace.

§ 87.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these three kinds of unskillful thinking that produce blindness, produce lack of vision, produce lack of knowledge, lead to the cessation of discernment, side with vexation, and are not conducive to Unbinding. Which three? Thinking imbued with sensuality .... Thinking imbued with ill-will .... Thinking imbued with harmfulness produces blindness, produces lack of vision, produces lack of knowledge, leads to the cessation of discernment, sides with vexation, and is not conducive to Unbinding. These are the three kinds of unskillful thinking that produce blindness, produce lack of vision, produce lack of knowledge, lead to the cessation of discernment, side with vexation, and are not conducive to Unbinding.

"There are these three kinds of skillful thinking that produce non-blindness, produce vision, produce knowledge, foster discernment, side with non-vexation, and are conducive to Unbinding. Which three? Thinking imbued with renunciation .... Thinking imbued with non-ill-will .... Thinking imbued with harmlessness produces non-blindness, produces vision, produces knowledge, fosters discernment, sides with non-vexation, and is conducive to Unbinding. These are the three kinds of skillful thinking that produce non-blindness, produce vision, produce knowledge, foster discernment, side with non-vexation, and are conducive to Unbinding."

Three skillful thoughts
should be thought,
three unskillful thoughts
rejected.
Whoever stills sustained thoughts
-- as rain would, a cloud of dust --
through an awareness with thinking stilled,
    attains right here
    the state
    of peace.

§ 88.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these three inside stains, inside enemies, inside foes, inside murderers, inside adversaries. Which three? Greed is an inside stain, inside enemy, inside foe, inside murderer, inside adversary. Aversion is an inside stain .... Delusion is an inside stain, inside enemy, inside foe, inside murderer, inside adversary. These are the three inside stains, inside enemies, inside foes, inside murderers, inside adversaries."

Greed causes harm.
Greed provokes the mind.
People don't realize it
as a danger born from within.
A person, when greedy,
doesn't know his own welfare;
    when greedy,
doesn't see Dhamma.
Overcome with greed,
he's in the dark, blind.
But when one, abandoning greed,
feels no greed
for what would merit greed,
greed gets shed from him --
    like a drop of water
    off a lotus leaf.

Aversion causes harm.
Aversion provokes the mind.
People don't realize it
as a danger born from within.
A person, when aversive,
doesn't know his own welfare;
    when aversive,
doesn't see Dhamma.
Overcome with aversion
he's in the dark, blind.
But when one, abandoning aversion,
feels no aversion
for what would merit aversion,
aversion drops away from him --
    like a palm leaf from its stem.

Delusion causes harm.
Delusion provokes the mind.
People don't realize it
as a danger born from within.
A person, when deluded,
doesn't know his own welfare;
    when deluded,
doesn't see Dhamma.
Overcome with delusion
he's in the dark, blind.
But when one, abandoning delusion,
feels no delusion
for what would merit delusion,
he disperses all delusion --
    as the rising of the sun, the dark.

§ 89.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Conquered by three forms of false Dhamma -- his mind overwhelmed -- Devadatta* is incurably doomed to deprivation, to hell, for an aeon. Which three? Conquered by evil desires -- his mind overwhelmed -- Devadatta is incurably doomed to deprivation, to hell, for the duration of an aeon. Conquered by friendship with evil people -- his mind overwhelmed -- Devadatta is incurably doomed to deprivation, to hell, for the duration of an aeon. And, there being something further to be done, he nevertheless stopped halfway with a lower modicum of distinctive attainment. Conquered by these three forms of false Dhamma -- his mind overwhelmed -- Devadatta is incurably doomed to deprivation, to hell, for an aeon."

May no one in the world
ever be reborn
with evil desire.
Know that,
through that
evil desire,
his destination's that
of all who have evil desires.

I've heard how Devadatta,
-- regarded as wise, composed,
incandescent with honor --
in the thrall of heedlessness
assaulted the Tathagata
and fell to the four-gated, fearful place:
    Avici, unmitigated hell.

Whoever plots against
one free of corruption
who's done no evil deed:
that evil touches him himself,
    corrupted in mind,
    disrespectful.

Whoever might think
of polluting the ocean
with a pot of poison,
couldn't succeed,
for the mass of water is great.
        So it is
when anyone attacks with abuse
    the Tathagata
    -- rightly-gone,
    of peaceful mind --
for abuse doesn't grow on him.
A wise person should make friends,
    should associate,
with a person like him --
whose path        a monk can pursue
    and reach the ending
    of suffering & stress.

Note:

*Devadatta, one of the Buddha's cousins, plotted to take over the Sangha, and ended up causing a schism. His story is told in Cv VII. [See also §18.] His "lower modicum of distinctive attainment" was his mastery of psychic powers.

§ 90.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these three supreme objects of confidence. Which three?

"Among whatever beings there may be -- footless, two-footed, four-footed, many footed; with form or formless; percipient, non-percipient, neither percipient nor non-percipient -- the Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, is considered supreme. Those who have confidence in the Awakened One have confidence in what is supreme; and for those with confidence in the supreme, supreme is the result.

"Among whatever qualities there may be, fabricated or unfabricated, the quality of dispassion -- the subduing of intoxication, the elimination of thirst, the uprooting of attachment, the breaking of the round, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, the realization of Unbinding -- is considered supreme. Those who have confidence in the quality of dispassion have confidence in what is supreme; and for those with confidence in the supreme, supreme is the result.

"Among whatever fabricated qualities there may be, the Noble Eightfold Path -- right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration -- is considered supreme. Those who have confidence in the Noble Eightfold Path have confidence in what is supreme; and for those with confidence in the supreme, supreme is the result.

"Among whatever communities or groups there may be, the Sangha of the Tathagata's disciples is considered supreme -- i.e., the four [groups of noble disciples] when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as persons.* Those who have confidence in the Sangha have confidence in what is supreme; and for those with confidence in the supreme, supreme will be the result.

"These, monks, are the three supreme objects of confidence."

With
confidence,
    realizing the supreme Dhamma
    to be supreme,
confidence in the supreme Buddha,
    unsurpassed
    in deserving offerings;
confidence in the supreme Dhamma,
    the stilling of dispassion,
    bliss;
confidence in the supreme Sangha,
    unsurpassed
    as a field of merit;
having given gifts to the supreme,
    one develops supreme merit,
    supreme long life & beauty,
    status, honor,
bliss, & strength.

Having given to the supreme,
    the wise person, centered
    in supreme Dhamma,
whether becoming a divine or human being,
    rejoices,
having attained the supreme.

Note:

*The four groups of noble disciples when taken as pairs are those who have attained (1) the path to stream-entry and the fruition of stream-entry; (2) the path to once-returning and the fruition of once-returning; (3) the path to non-returning and the fruition of non-returning; and (4) the path to Arahantship and the fruition of Arahantship. Taking each attainment singly gives eight "individuals."

§ 91.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "This is a lowly means of livelihood, alms gathering. It's a form of abuse in the world [to say], 'You go around as an alms gatherer with a bowl in your hand!' Yet sensible young men of good families have taken it up for a compelling reason. They have not been forced into it by kings or robbers, nor through debt, through fear, nor through the loss of their livelihood, but through the thought: 'We are beset by birth, aging, & death, by sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs, beset by stress, overcome with stress. O, that the end of this entire mass of suffering & stress might be known!' But this young man of good family, having gone forth in this way, may be greedy for sensual pleasures, strong in his passions, malevolent in mind, corrupt in his resolves, his mindfulness muddled, unalert, uncentered, his mind scattered, & his faculties uncontrolled. Just as a firebrand from a funeral pyre -- burning at both ends, covered with excrement in the middle -- is used as fuel neither in a village nor in the wilderness: I tell you that this is a simile for this person. He has missed out on the householder's enjoyments and does not fulfill the purpose of the contemplative life."

    He's missed out
on the householder's enjoyment
& the purpose of the contemplative life
    -- unfortunate man!
Ruining it, he throws it away,
    perishes
like a firebrand used at a funeral.
Better to eat an iron ball
-- glowing, aflame --
than that, unprincipled &
    unrestrained,
he should eat the alms of the country.

§ 92.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Even if a monk, taking hold of my outer cloak, were to follow right behind me, placing his feet in my footsteps, yet if he were to be greedy for sensual pleasures, strong in his passions, malevolent in mind, corrupt in his resolves, his mindfulness muddled, unalert, uncentered, his mind scattered, & his faculties uncontrolled, then he would be far from me, and I from him. Why is that? Because he does not see the Dhamma. Not seeing the Dhamma, he does not see me.

"But even if a monk were to live one hundred leagues away, yet if he were to have no greed for sensual objects, were not strong in his passions, not malevolent in mind, uncorrupt in his resolves, his mindfulness established, alert, centered, his mind at singleness, & his faculties well-restrained, then he would be near to me, and I to him. Why is that? Because he sees the Dhamma. Seeing the Dhamma, he sees me."

Though following right behind,
    full of desire, vexation:
see how far he is! --
the perturbed
    from the unperturbed,
the bound
    from the Unbound,
the greedy one
    from the one with no greed.

But the wise person who, through
    direct knowledge of Dhamma,
    gnosis of Dhamma,
grows still & unperturbed
like a lake unruffled by wind:
see how close he is! --
the unperturbed to the unperturbed,
the Unbound to the Unbound,
the greedless one
to the one with no greed.

§ 93.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Monks, there are these three fires. Which three? The fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. These, monks, are the three fires."

The fire of passion burns in a mortal
    excited, smitten
with sensual desires;
the fire of aversion, in a malevolent person
    taking life;
the fire of delusion, in a bewildered person
    ignorant
    of the noble teaching.
Not understanding these fires, people
    -- fond of self-identity --
    unreleased from Mara's shackles,
swell the ranks of hell,
    the wombs of common animals, demons,
    the realm of the hungry shades.

While those who, day & night,
are devoted
to the teachings
    of the rightly self-awakened,
put out the fire of passion,
    constantly perceiving the foul.
They, superlative people,
put out the fire of aversion
        with good will,
and the fire of delusion
    with the discernment leading
    to penetration.
They, the masterful, by night & day,
    having put out [the fires],
having,    without remainder,
    comprehended stress,
are,        without remainder,
    totally unbound.
They, the wise, with an attainer-of-wisdom's
        noble vision,
        right gnosis,
directly knowing
the ending of birth,
    come to no further becoming.

§ 94.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "A monk should investigate in such a way that -- his consciousness neither externally scattered & diffused, nor internally fixated -- he is, from lack of clinging/sustenance, unagitated, and there is no seed for the origination of future birth, aging, death, or stress."

For a monk who has abandoned
    seven attachments
and cut the guide:*

the wandering-on in birth
    is finished,
there is
no further becoming.

Note:

*The "seven attachments" are passion, aversion, delusion, views, conceit, defilement, & misconduct. The "guide" is craving, which leads to becoming.

§ 95.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these three ways of obtaining sensual pleasures. Which three? Those whose sensual pleasures are already provided, those who delight in creating, those with control over what is created by others.* These are the three ways of obtaining sensual pleasures."

Devas whose pleasures are already provided,
    those with control,
    those who delight in creation,
and any others enjoying sensual pleasures
in this state here
or anywhere else,
    don't go beyond
    the wandering-on.
Knowing this drawback
in sensual pleasures, the wise
should abandon all sensual desires,
    whether human
        or divine.
Having cut the flow of greed
for lovely, alluring forms
so hard to transcend,
having,    without remainder,
    comprehended stress,
they are,    without remainder,
    totally unbound.
They, the wise, with an attainer-of-wisdom's
        noble vision,
        right gnosis,
directly knowing the ending of birth,
    come to no further becoming.

Note:

*As the verse makes clear, these three categories denote three levels of devas in the heavens of sensual pleasure. "Those in control" are at the highest of these levels.

§ 96.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Tied by the yoke of sensuality & the yoke of becoming, one is a returner, returning to this state. Untied from the yoke of sensuality but tied by the yoke of becoming, one is a non-returner, not returning to this state. Untied from [both] the yoke of sensuality & from the yoke of becoming, one is an Arahant whose fermentations are ended."

Tied by both
    the yoke of sensuality
&    the yoke of becoming,
beings go to the wandering-on
    leading to birth
    & death.
Those who've abandoned the sensual
without reaching the ending of fermentations,
are tied        by the yoke of becoming,
are said to be        Non-returners.
While those who've cut off doubt
    have no more conceit
        or further becoming.
They who have reached
    the ending of fermentations,
while in the world
    have gone       
            beyond.

§ 97.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "A monk who has admirable virtue, admirable qualities, & admirable discernment is called, in this Dhamma-&-Vinaya, one who is complete, fulfilled, a superlative person.

"And how is a monk a person with admirable virtue? There is the case where a monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Patimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest faults. In this way a monk is a person with admirable virtue. Thus he is of admirable virtue.

"And how is a monk a person with admirable qualities? There is the case where a monk lives devoted to developing the seven [sets of] qualities that are wings to Awakening.* In this way a monk is a person with admirable qualities. Thus he is of admirable virtue & admirable qualities.

"And how is a monk a person with admirable discernment? There is the case where a monk, through the ending of fermentations, dwells in the release of awareness & release of discernment that are free from fermentation, having known & made them manifest for himself right in the present life. In this way a monk is a person with admirable discernment. Thus he is of admirable virtue, admirable qualities, admirable discernment. In this Dhamma-&-Vinaya he is called one who is complete, fulfilled, a superlative person."

Devoid of wrong-doing
in thought, word, or deed,
he's called a person of admirable virtue:
    the monk conscientious.
Well-developed in the qualities
that go to the attainment of self-awakening,
he's called a person of admirable qualities:
    the monk unassuming.
Discerning right here for himself,
            in himself,
the ending of stress
he's called a person of admirable discernment:
    the monk with no fermentation.
Consummate in
these things,
untroubled, with doubt cut away,
unattached in all the world,
    he's said to have abandoned
        the All.

Note:

*See the note to §82.

§ 98.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these two kinds of gifts: a gift of material things & a gift of the Dhamma. Of the two, this is supreme: a gift of the Dhamma. There are these two kinds of sharing: sharing of material things & sharing of the Dhamma. Of the two, this is supreme: sharing of the Dhamma. There are these two kinds of assistance: assistance with material things & assistance with the Dhamma. Of the two, this is supreme: help with the Dhamma."

The gift he describes
as foremost & unsurpassed,
the sharing the Blessed One has extolled:
who -- confident in the supreme field of merit,
    wise, discerning --
wouldn't give it at appropriate times?
Both for those who proclaim it
and those who listen,
confident in the message of the One Well-gone:
it purifies their foremost benefit --
    those heeding the message
    of the One Well-gone.

§ 99.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "It's on the strength of Dhamma that I describe [a person as] a brahman with threefold knowledge, and not another as measured by citing & reciting. And how is it on the strength of Dhamma that I describe [a person as] a brahman with threefold knowledge, and not another as measured by citing & reciting?

"There is the case where a monk recollects his manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two ... five, ten ... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction & expansion: 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus he recollects his manifold past lives in their modes & details.

"This is the first knowledge he has attained. Ignorance has been destroyed; knowledge has arisen; darkness has been destroyed; light has arisen -- as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute.

"Then again, the monk sees -- by means of the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human -- beings passing away & re-appearing, and I discerned how they are inferior & superior, beautiful & ugly, fortunate & unfortunate in accordance with their actions: 'These beings -- who were endowed with bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, & mental misconduct; who reviled noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views -- at the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. But these beings -- who were endowed with bodily good conduct, verbal good conduct, & mental good conduct; who did not revile noble ones, who held right views and undertook actions under the influence of right views -- at the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the good destinations, in the heavenly world.' Thus -- by means of the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human -- he sees beings passing away & re-appearing, and discerns how they are inferior & superior, beautiful & ugly, fortunate & unfortunate in accordance with their actions.

"This is the second knowledge he has attained. Ignorance has been destroyed; knowledge has arisen; darkness has been destroyed; light has arisen -- as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute.

"Then again, the monk -- with the ending of fermentations -- remains in the fermentation-free release of awareness & release of discernment, having directly known and made it manifest for himself right in the present life.

"This is the third knowledge he has attained. Ignorance has been destroyed; knowledge has arisen; darkness has been destroyed; light has arisen -- as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute.

"It's in this way that, on the strength of Dhamma, I describe [a person as] a brahman with threefold knowledge, and not another as measured by citing & reciting."

He knows    his former lives.
He sees    heavens & states of woe,
has attained    the ending of birth,
is a sage    who has mastered full-knowing.

By means of these three knowledges
he becomes a three-knowledge brahman.*
He's what I call a three-knowledge man --
    not another,
    citing, reciting.

Note:

*In the brahmanical religion, a "three-knowledge man" was one who had memorized the three Vedas. This verse takes the brahmanical term and gives it a new, Buddhist meaning.

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|Table of Contents| The Group of Ones| The Group of Twos| The Group of Threes |The Group of Fours

 

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Khuddaka Nikaya contents:

Dhammapada | Therigatha Udana

Theragatha| Sutta Nipata | Itivuttaka

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| The Sutta Pitaka | The Vinaya Pitaka | the Abhidhamma Pitaka |

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